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Residential Aged Care
Jan 05, 2023

Getting fit while you sit

A seated exercise class is helping IRT Dalmeny Aged Care Centre residents with their health and wellbeing.

Lifestyle Officer Claudia Duck (bottom right) and residents at a Sit and Be Fit class.

Grabbing a chair and sitting down for an hour-long exercise class is helping IRT Dalmeny Aged Care Centre residents to get moving.

For the past 12 months the aged care centre has been offering residents a regular Sit and Be Fit class. The class has been so popular it’s now held four days a week.

Lifestyle Officer Dee Brooker explains the seated exercise class is all about improving hand-eye coordination, muscle tone, dexterity and wellbeing.

Dee says she incorporates a variety of activities into the classes.

“We throw bean bags, beach balls or little balls. This helps with hand-eye coordination and dexterity.”

The age range of participants is 75 to 94 and several participants have had a stroke. “For some of these residents the class really helps to put a smile on their face. One resident can’t catch the ball but he can punch it.”

Dee says they have a competition to see who is the fastest at doing the exercises. “We include having fun, it’s not just an exercise program.”

Resident Ruby McGinlay taking part in the Sit and Be Fit class.

"For some of these residents the class really helps to put a smile on their face."

The class is also being taught pelvic floor exercises and Dee says this can benefit men and women.

She says the residents who take part have noticed a benefit to their health. “I have a lady who is 93 and she said ‘I think this is helping me’, ” Dee says.

The class starts with a warm-up session and Dee explains to the class why they are doing different movements. The class winds up with a cool down and a drink.

The aim is to provide as much variety in the exercises as possible. “The physio comes up with exercises for the class too.”

Dee acknowledges the social value that comes from participating in the class. “The residents get to talk to people they don’t usually talk to as well.”

To help improve residents’ balance and coordination, bus trips are planned so residents can walk on variety of surfaces – from boardwalks, to grassy picnic areas and footpaths.

An interesting observation from Dee is that she can tell which resident walk for exercise. “Their dexterity is better and they can catch the ball well.”

holding hands

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